Tar Sands

Tar Sands Oil Just Lost Another Outlet, For Now

It was viewed as a "David vs. Goliath" pipeline fight: the city of South Portland, Maine against a pipeline company backed by Big Oil. The city had passed a zoning ordinance preventing the export of oil which would have impacted public health.

August 29, 2018 - InsideClimate News

A Reversal of Direction for TransCanada

TransCanada, the company that hoped to build a Canada-to-Gulf Coast pipeline, now wants to build one to carry Bakken oil from North Dakota to Canada, transporting oil now hauled only by trains that have caused recent deadly explosions.

April 5, 2016 - The Bismarck Tribune

Oil Drills

Can Climate Change be Addressed by Halting Drilling on Federal Lands?

A production-side approach to tackling climate change is the basis of new legislation by Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.). The "Keep it in the Ground Act" would prevent new drilling for any fossil fuel on federal lands or renewal of nonproductive leases.

November 11, 2015 - Sen. Jeff Merkley Press Release

Cause of Crude-by-Rail Explosions Identified

The Wall Street Journal's senior energy reporter, Russell Gold, is interviewed on NPR about the February 16 derailment and explosion in West Virginia of an oil-train hauling 109 tanker cars of Bakken crude from North Dakota.

March 6, 2015 - NPR

Photo of Calgary skyline from Edworthy Park

Oil Town Feels the Pinch

The rise of shale oil in Alberta over the past decade has made Calgary one of the most vibrant cities on the continent. But with oil slumping around $50 per barrel, the fortunes of an industry town look less rosy.

February 28, 2015 - The Wall Street Journal

The End of the Keystone XL Pipeline Saga?

Within hours of receiving the bipartisan bill on Tuesday to authorize the Keystone XL pipeline, President Obama made good on his promise to veto it. The legislation would have short-circuited the approval process, which upset the president.

February 25, 2015 - The Hill

The Environmental Downside of Falling Oil Prices

Ben Adler of Grist writes how falling oil prices will affect climate change. Cheaper gas prices may encourage more driving and more truck sales at the expense of hybrid, electric, and fuel efficient cars, but the news may not be all bad.

October 31, 2014 - Grist

Portland, Maine

Tar Sands Rebellion in Maine Port City

Can one small port city make a difference? South Portland, home to an oil tanker facility that has long received crude from abroad, has blocked the owner from exporting tar sands crude and hopes to spur other cities to act.

July 25, 2014 - NPR

Oil Shale (not Shale Oil) and Oil Sands Projects Underway in Utah

A major challenge facing oil companies in the Uinta Basin is how to transport the crude to market. Alignments have been winnowed and the mode appears to be selected - rail. Total cost: $2 billion to extract $30 billion worth of oil and gas reserves.

June 18, 2014 - The Salt Lake Tribune

Keystone Plan B: Ship Oil Sands to California by Rail

A California legislator warns that if the Keystone XL pipeline is rejected, expect tar sands to be transported by rail to Calif. refineries and ports. Increasing oil production would reduce oil imports, but a fracking moratorium bill has advanced.

April 22, 2014 - Engineering News Record

Albany Not so Warm to Crude-By-Rail After All

The Port of Albany is thriving as a major hub for CBR shipments from the Bakken field in North Dakota and Saskatchewan province. But we learn there are limits to further growth after the city slapped a moratorium on expansion to oil sands from Canada

March 17, 2014 - Climate Progress

Petroleum's Coke Problem Plagues Chicago

Petroleum coke or petcoke, similar to coal, is a nasty though salable byproduct of the oil refining process. Produced from refining tar sands crude in Indiana refineries, it is stored in huge piles in Chicago, blowing dust in the Southeast Side.

December 28, 2013 - NPR Morning Edition

California Refineries Prepare For Canadian Crude

Canadian oil is headed to two California oil refineries thanks to the collaboration of Union Pacific and Canadian Pacific railroads. Valero Energy's Benicia and Wilmington refineries are improving rail facilities in preparation for the deliveries.

September 3, 2013 - RailwayAge

Major Oil Pipeline Rejected - But Will Alternatives Have Greater Environmental Impacts?

Kinder Morgan's proposed $2 billion 'Freedom Pipeline' to transport West Texas oil to California refineries has been rejected - not by a governmental entity as occurred with the Northern Gateway, but by oil refineries opting to ship by rail instead.

June 7, 2013 - The Wall Street Journal

Arkansas Oil Pipeline Spill: A Warm-Up for Keystone XL?

The NewsHour's Judy Woodruff asks pointed questions to Anthony Swift, of the Natural Resources Defense Council, and Andy Black, president of the Association of Oil Pipe Lines, about the latest spill involving oil sands crude. The two agree on little.

April 6, 2013 - PBS NewsHour

Geologists Dispute Predictions of a "Saudi America"

While holding out promise for oil industry advocates, shale oil extraction in the United States appears to obey the law of diminishing returns.

February 13, 2013 - Slate

Oil Sands On Obama's Agenda

In his first foreign trip, President Obama will meet with Canadian PM Harper to discuss, amongst other topics, the environmental impact of mining Alberta's oil sands.

February 24, 2009 - The Washington Post

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